Opening doors on St John

INVITATION: Mid Canterbury Hato Hone St John community engagement co-ordinator Nicola Walker (left) and emergency medical Technician Kaylene Millar-McArthur are ready for the open day.
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Hato Hone St John will hold an open day at its Burnett St headquarters on Sunday so people can learn more about its services.

It will be from 11am to 2pm, free entry, but take cash for coffees or to make a donation to their annual appeal.

If you have ever wondered what is carried in a Major Incident Support Team (MIST) vehicle or what a St John caring caller does, you can head along to the open day, which coincides with the organisation’s annual appeal.

Community engagement coordinator Nicola Walker said it was many years since all operations had been able to be viewed at the site.

As well as an opportunity to look through an ambulance, a welfare caravan from Christchurch will be present.

The MIST vehicle will have on display its equipment which is transported to major incidents for supporting and restocking supplies for frontline workers.

‘‘We want to invite people to come and explore the operational and community engagement side of what St John does, we want to showcase who we are and what we do,’’ Walker said.

‘‘We aren’t just an ambulance service or teachers of first aid skills. We offer alarms services, children and youth programmes, the free three step AED programmes for businesses and groups, the health shuttle, St John in school, the op shop, the Fellowship team which is a social group of past staff, volunteers and spouses and the caring caller friendship programme,’’ Walker said.

St John cadets will be doing demonstrations including marching as they prepare for competitions the following weekend. Primo the St John penguin is paying a visit and will interact with attendees.

The Go Bright and Light the Way annual appeal money raised will stay in the district, going towards St John resources such as station upgrades and maintenance.

‘‘The Ashburton St John building was opened in 2007 and it needs a new roof as well as interior and exterior painting and signage,’’ Walker said.

‘‘It costs $1 million a year to keep one ambulance on the road.

The Ashburton station has two full time ambulances with back ups. Nationally St John are facing a $20 million shortfall for the year.

Annual appeal street collectors will be out June 13 to 15.